Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ali Dia - the greatest SCAM the Premier League has ever known



The name Ali Dia doesn’t ring a bell for many of you out there, but for those who watched Premier League Football back in the 90s, it is a name that is mainly remembered as one that’ll go down in the league’s folklore. His story in the Premier League is a truly remarkable one. It was November 1996, when Southampton’s manager at the time, Graeme Souness, received a phone call from someone claiming to be George Weah (one of the greatest African footballers of all-time and World Footballer of the Year at the time) recommending his cousin, a certain "player" called Ali Dia, to Southampton.

This person on the other end of the phone (who obviously wasn’t George Weah) told Souness that Dia had played for Paris St Germain and had been capped by Senegal. Souness was told that he should consider giving him a trial at the club.


                                        


Putting things into perspective a little bit, there was no internet at the time or anything high-tech that could possibly have allowed Souness to know whether or not this was true (though the fact that Weah is from Liberia and Dia is from Senegal should’ve been a good clue). The Southampton manager took the risk and was convinced by the phone call. He signed Dia on a one-month contract.

According to some of Southampton’s players at the time, Ali Dia’s first day at training was horrible and they didn’t expect him to ever play for the club. So when Southampton faced Leeds at The Dell the following day, due to the numerous injuries at the club, to everyone's surprise, Dia was put on the substitutes bench (only 3 subs were allowed at the time).

Their main striker, and club legend, Matthew Le Tissier got injured during the game and Dia was ready to make his debut. Here’s a man, with no professional experience whatsoever to back him up a part from his word and that of his “cousin George Weah”, about to make his Premier League debut. The stuff of dreams! His debut was so poor that he had to be re-substituted 33 minutes later. That’s how bad he was. The following day he went to the physio with an “injury” and then never showed up again. He went on to play for non-league side Gateshead, but then vanished again. His whereabouts are unknown today, but his name is still sung by Southampton fans to remember his story: “Ali Dia, is a liar, is a liar”.


                                         

5 comments:

  1. Hahahaha, i never heard of this guy before! do they really still sing this song? Ali Dia, is a liar, is a liar!

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    1. Haha! Yeah apparently they still do from time to time! You can't blame them! It's the funniest story ever :p!

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  2. We are looking for Ali. Come and see us

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    1. http://insearchofali.wordpress.com/

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